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Details of Pope’s visit to Spain are unveiled

A view of La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (Chris Ison/PA Archive)

Benedict XVI will consecrate Antoni Gaudí’s La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and visit Santiago de Compostela during his November trip to Spain.

The Pope is also scheduled to meet Spanish bishops, the king and queen of Spain, and the prince and princess of Asturias during the two-day visit.

He will visit the northern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, which became an important pilgrim destination in the Middle Ages. Tradition holds that the remains of the Apostle St James the Greater are buried there.

The Pope’s visit coincides with the Santiago de Compostela Holy Year, which occurs every time St James’s feast day, July 25, falls on a Sunday.

In Barcelona, he will preside over the consecration of La Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Construction of the church began in 1882 and it is expected to be completed by 2025.

Here is the schedule for the Pope’s trip as released by the Vatican. Times listed are local.

Saturday, November 6

8:30am Departure from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.

11:30am Arrival at Santiago de Compostela International Airport. Welcoming ceremony. Speech by the Pope. Private meeting with the prince and princess of Asturias at the airport.

1pm Visit to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Greeting by the Pope.

1:45pm Lunch with Spanish cardinals and members of the executive committee of the Spanish bishops’ conference at the archbishop’s residence in Santiago de Compostela.

4:30pm Mass in Obradoiro Square in front of the city cathedral. Homily by the Pope.

7:15pm Departure by plane from Santiago de Compostela International Airport to Barcelona.

Sunday, November 7

9:30am Private meeting with the king and queen of Spain inside La Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona.

10am Mass to consecrate the church and altar of La Sagrada Familia. Homily by the Pope. Recitation of the Angelus in the square in front of the church and brief remarks by the Pope.

1pm Lunch with Spanish cardinals and bishops at the archbishop’s residence in Barcelona.

4:30pm Departure from archbishop’s residence.

5:15 pm Visit to a church-run educational, social and medical centre, “Obra Benefico-Social Nen Deu,” in Barcelona. Greeting by the Pope.

6:30pm Farewell ceremony at Barcelona Airport. Speech by the pope.

7:15pm Departure for Rome.

8:55pm Arrival at Rome Ciampino Airport.